Being a woman
tennis player—particularly one who's 6 feet tall—is not the greatest profession
for an enhanced social life. It's lonely much of the time, and if you do meet a
young man he might wonder if you're a lesbian. If he doesn't, all he offers you
is a quick sexual relationship—as a big favor to you, of course.
But I got a
chance to really know John in Dallas, and we started to phone and write. He has
visited me three times since then, and we've had some wonderful moments
together. It's just that the distance is so bloody frustrating.
I was doing an
interview with Baltimore magazine the other day, and, in passing, I mentioned
that on Valentine's Day I had attended a sports dinner at the Our Lady of
Fatima Church. The people were blue collar, salt of the earth, so appreciative,
and I felt so good that I could be there with them. I even got payment: One of
the priests blessed my arm. But, anyway, the reporter from Baltimore asked,
"Wouldn't you have rather spent that night with your valentine?"
A clever way of
asking me: Do you have a boy/girl friend?
have been difficult because he lives in Dallas," I said.
Then came the
zinger: "Do you worry about people wondering what your sexual preference is
because you play doubles with Martina?" I should have hit him, but it
wasn't worth the effort.
Well, I'm back on
the plane, and John and I got exactly five minutes. I am a little bit more
cheered up because I just read the note he gave me. There were also some
pictures in the envelope. One was of John and me at a debutante ball. The
picture was from the society section. The caption read: TENNIS ACE PAM SHRIVER
WITH JOHN FIELD ATTENDING THE TERPSICHOREAN BALL. You know, that's the first
published picture of me with a date.
I don't flirt
very well. I'm not even sure I know how to flirt.
For the last two weeks my arm hasn't bothered me. Not at all. So today, as soon
as I get back on tour, my elbow and forearm are as sore as they were in
December when I quit. My mind is so confused. My arm rules my life, and I